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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    It only happens once every never

    I've tried to bend grammar without breaking it. The expression is meant to mean "It's such an incredibly rare event that it might as well not ever happen" in a somewhat humorous way.
    What do you think?

    A: Did you see the last transit of Venus?
    B: Of course I did. I couldn't miss it; it happens only once every never.
    Last edited by Glizdka; 25-Jun-2019 at 12:10. Reason: Thank you, Ems!

  2. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It only happens once every never

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    What do you think?
    Shall I feign to appreciate it?

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It only happens once every never

    I guess it could kind of work in a very sarcastic, jokey way, but only if your listener understands what you mean, which is not guaranteed since it seems on the surface to be saying that it never happens.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: It only happens once every never

    I think it's clever. But I'm weird.
    Not a professional teacher

  5. Moderator
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    #5

    Re: It only happens once every never

    I'd prefer it to be written 'once every ... never', giving the impression you're trying to think of an event rare enough to compare it to and realising that even 'blue moon' won't do.

    (I know you're all wondering, so to save anybody the trouble of looking it up, the next transits of Venus will take place on 10–11 December 2117, and 8 December 2125. Those two events occur in relatively quick succession.)
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 25-Jun-2019 at 09:16.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: It only happens once every never

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I've tried to bend grammar without breaking it. The expression is meant/supposed to mean "It's such an incredibly rare event that it might as well not ever happen" in a somewhat humoristic humorous way.
    Note my corrections above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. Senior Member
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    #7

    Re: It only happens once every never

    I originally wrote "...is meant to mean..." but I thought it would sound tautologous. Thank you for letting me know I'm allowed to use it.

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: It only happens once every never

    How about once a never?

  9. Senior Member
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    #9

    Re: It only happens once every never

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    How about once a never?
    I thought using never countably would be "too far". It's good to know it's possible.

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